Fishing, Hunting & Wildlife Viewing

in Groton & Groton State Forest


Year old Moose in the spring

beside Boulder Beach Rd

Fishing, hunting and wildlife viewing are popular activities in the Forest. A recent survey indicate that Vermont is second only to Alaska in per capita participation by the public in these activities (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation State Overview).


In the Groton State Forest, hunting and viewing opportunities exist for Vermont big game species, including black bear, white-tailed deer, moose, and wild turkey.  Small game and furbearer species such as ruffed grouse, snowshoe hare, rabbits, coyotes, bobcats, and fox are also hunted and viewed in the Groton State Forest. There are waterfowl hunting opportunities that can be found throughout the property in the various wetlands and beaver flowages. Furbearers are common and abundant, and trapping and viewing opportunities for coyote, beaver, fisher, fox, bobcat, and other furbearer species exist in accordance with Vermont trapping laws.


Lands in the Groton State Forest are excellent areas for bird viewing. Sixteen species of warblers have been sighted here. Common loons may be seen or heard on the larger ponds (Kettle, Peacham, Ricker, Groton) in the area.  Owl’s Head is an excellent place for viewing migrating hawks in late summer and early fall.


Hunters, trappers, anglers, and wildlife viewers utilize existing Groton State Forest infrastructure and accommodations for these activities. There is vehicular access by means of the numerous logging roads within the Groton State Forest, which provide access to many corners of the property. Parking is also available throughout the forest and at specific parking areas – the Northern Parking area near the Groton Maintenance area, the Kettle Pond day use parking area, the Groton Forest Overlook, Martins Pond, and the Department of Forests and Parks parking lot near Butterfield Mountain.  During the hunting seasons, hunters and trappers may also camp at any open park until mid October (Ricker Pond, Kettle Pond).  After the park operating season, New Discovery State Park is open to self-contained campers during the deer rifle season at no charge.  Throughout the year, park facilities for camping are available upon approval by the parks regional manager; however, there is no water or restroom facilities available and visitors will have to walk in from the entrance gate. During their seasons, most of the state park campgrounds keep lists of wildlife sightings by visitors.  Note that Seyon Lodge is available year round as a lodging facility in the Forest.


Fishing and Hunting Regulations  To see information on the calendar of open seasons as well as the licensing regulations, go to . Fishing and hunting licenses can be purchased at the Stillwater and Ricker Pond State Park entrances when they are open, or year round at the Upper Valley Grill at the intersection of routes 302 and 232.


Ponds and Lakes A description of the water bodies within the State Forest is contained in Ponds and Lakes in Groton State Forest.  This contains information about what fish species and access.   For information on boat/canoe/kayak rentals, see the Boating information.


Streams The Groton State Forest, owing to its large size, has many streams that originate within the forest and terminate as mid-size perennial streams or small rivers where they enter the Groton State Forest ponds or exit the Groton State Forest.  The elevation range in Groton State Forest from the highest mountain top to lowest point on valley floors is 2,100 feet. The largest single stream leaving the Groton State Forest is the Wells River main stem, with its origin at the outlet of Ricker Pond.

These streams, especially in their lower reaches, offer an excellent angling opportunity.   Within the Groton State Forest, wild self-sustaining populations of brook trout may be found in the Wells River South Branch (below Noyes Pond), Depot Brook, Beaver Brook, Osmore Brook, Coldwater Brook, Stillwater Brook, the Waits River headwaters, and in beaver flowages associated with these and other brooks.


Fish Stocking  For the locations and amounts of fish stocking by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, go to


Recreation Overview

Comments/Feedback:  to provide comments or feedback on the above information,  click here.